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Sudbury son Gil Grand coming home for special Mother’s day show

Grand will perform One Night with Conway Twitty at the Caruso Club on May 13
Sudbury’s own Gil Grand will be returning to the Caruso Club this Mother’s Day for a performance of One Night with Conway Twitty.

Musician Gil Grand may have picked up a bit of the Nashville ‘twang’ after two decades living in the capital of country music, but you can tell his Sudbury roots the moment he speaks of his loved ones: a big northern French family — his dad has 10 brothers and nine sisters — and a home filled with music and laughter.

Born in Hanmer, Grand told he is thrilled to be coming back to Sudbury for a show on May 13, a special Mother’s day show at the Caruso Club. 

Special in that he’ll get to perform for his mom, and special because he’ll be performing the work of his favourite artist, Conway Twitty. 

Though he began his career singing with local bands in Sudbury, Grand’s first taste of professional performance was as part of a national competition held in southern Ontario called the Canadian Country Music Open Entry Singing Contest. 

“I started entering singing competitions because it was something new, and also you can make some money if you would win,” Grand said. 

He said after entering and winning three times, he could no longer enter, but there was a better prize waiting. 

“They put your name on a plaque that sits in the Country Music Hall of Fame.” Grand said he continued to develop as an artist, but that name on the wall gave him entry into the profession. “I started to meet people in the industry who were producers and publishers in Nashville, and when they started to hear me singing and believed that I could compete at that level, they signed me and started sending me to Nashville to develop and write,” said Grand. 

Soon after that he signed a record deal with Sony Nashville. “And then I was off to the races,” he said. 

Grand is now an eight-time Canadian Country Music Association (CCMA) nominee and CCMA ‘Male Vocalist of the Year’ and ‘Record Producer of the Year’ winner. His debut album, Famous First Words, produced his first No. 1 single and earned him three 1999 Canadian Country Music Association Award nominations, including 'Male Vocalist of the Year,' 'Album of the Year' and 'Wrangler Rising Star.' 

Then, after more than a decade of success behind the mic, Grand decided it was time to change things up. That change came with Grand & Gee Music, a Nashville-based publishing company that Grand co-owned. Soon enough, more awards, including SESAC’s (licensing company) Song of the Year award for his participation as a publisher on Chris Young’s No. 1 hit “Tomorrow” and a Grammy for “God And My Girlfriends” recorded by Reba McEntire.

But Grand missed performing, he told, and found himself itching to get back on stage.

He and his partner sold the company and he headed back to his first love: singing. But he said he needed to find a new way back to his old love. 

“It had been almost 10 years and by then, my career songs had already passed, people weren’t playing that anymore.” He didn’t want to do what everyone else was doing, nor did he want to stray from the style that made him who he is as a performer. The answer?  

“I chose my favorite country singer of all time, Conway Twitty, and I decided to put on a whole 90-minute show of Conway Twitty songs, and wait to see if anybody wants to come and hear that.”

Twitty is a well-known singer, with 55 singles reaching No. 1 on the charts. 

“There are some artists who are songwriters, like Kris Kristofferson or Willie Nelson, who you love and appreciate because of their songwriting abilities,” said Grand.”But as a singer, I was attracted to singers who could really sing, and for me, that was Conway.” 

So Grand chose his favourites, 24 in total, booked the theatres, sold every ticket himself, crossed his fingers and hoped for the best. 

Not only did he start selling out shows, but he has now booked a permanent show at the Texas Troubadour Theatre in Nashville. 

So if you’re travelling to Nashville anytime soon, be sure to visit his show there. But if you’ll be in Sudbury on May 13, you’ll also have your chance with ‘One night with Conway.’ 

A buffet dinner will be served (but you can also purchase performance-only tickets) and the tables are large so the whole family can come, said Grand. 

When asked about his family here in Sudbury, and how long he’ll be visiting his hometown, Grand laughed and said “You can’t go this close to your mom and then just leave. She’s going to want to look at my face for a while.” 

You can find ticket information here. 

Jenny Lamothe is a reporter at


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Jenny Lamothe

About the Author: Jenny Lamothe

Jenny Lamothe is a reporter with She covers the diverse communities of Sudbury, especially the vulnerable or marginalized.
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